Tenor and soprano saxophone titan Wayne Shorter, whose quartet arguably ranks as the world’s greatest working jazz band, took top honors in four categories of this year’s DownBeat International Critics Poll.
Shorter, who turns 80 on Aug. 25, won for jazz artist of the year and best soprano saxophonist. His quartet, with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, was named best jazz group, and the band’s recording, “Without a Net” (Blue Note), was named best jazz album.
Also among the poll’s major award winners:
Robert Glasper — best keyboardist; beyond artist or group of the year; rising star — composer; rising star — producer
Dr. John — best blues artist or group; blues album of the year, for “Locked Down” (Nonesuch)
Darcy James Argue — best arranger; and, for his Secret Society group — best big band (tied with Maria Schneider Orchestra)
Charlie Haden — DownBeat Hall of Fame (elected by critics)
Robert Johnson — DownBeat Hall of Fame (elected by DownBeat Veterans Committee)
Miles Davis Quintet, “Live in Europe 1969″ — historical album of the year
165 critics (including me) participated in the 61st annual poll.
The complete list is here, and full results will also be published in the magazine’s August issue, hitting newstands in mid-July.